This sponsored post is produced by Fisku.

If you’re ready to launch a mobile game, competition is stiff. There are more than 200,000 games in the App Store. But opportunity is vast: Mobile game usage grew 66 percentlast year.

That means getting it right the first time is critical, because if you don’t, you risk losing your audience and could jeopardize your game’s monetization.

You can significantly improve your chances for success by starting out with a soft launch, rather than fully releasing your game right out of the gate. Get tips and tricks on how to do it from our e-book: Learn First, Start Strong: Soft Launch Strategies for Mobile Game Companies.

As many game publishers have learned, a controlled release of a mobile game in a test market allows developers to isolate success factors and problem areas and quantify user response to game mechanics. But in order for your soft launch to actually be effective, you need to take a strategic approach.

What do you want to measure?

One of the first things you need to consider is what you want to measure. This could include engagement metrics like user experience, user retention, monetization, and virality. Questions you might want to ask include:

  • How are users interacting with your game?
  • Are they moving beyond the first level or two?
  • How long does it take players to make a purchase?
  • Are people sharing your game?

Choosing a test market & tracking partner

Once you’ve determined what to measure, you’ll need to choose a test market with similarities to your target market. The most common example, for games launching in the U.S., is to use English-speaking countries like Canada or Australia.

You’ll also need to choose UA (user acquisition) and UX (user experience) tracking partners. This will ensure you have the accurate, detailed data you need to make the soft launch worthwhile. UA tracking will help you understand where new users come from, how much they cost, and how much revenue they generated. UX tracking, meanwhile, will show you what users do in your app, where churn occurs, what features they use, and where they get stuck. UX tracking also gives you information on user flow, session length, and social sharing.

Getting the details right

Keep in mind that a soft launch isn’t for basic QA. Before you soft-launch your game, you should triple check it to make sure things like links are working, rating tools and comments are operative, and third-party integrations are active and working. You don’t want to be paying to acquire users just to learn that your registration page doesn’t work.

Time to launch

If you’ve completed all those steps, you’re ready to execute your soft launch. This typically takes 2 to 4 weeks depending on how many users you need to get enough data, your internal resources, and your budget. After completing your soft launch you can analyze the data and make any necessary changes to your app.

Once you’ve learned enough to be confident in your app, get ready for your major launch. This isn’t an easy process but there are resources that can help you every step of the way. Download our e-book, Learn First, Start Strong: Soft Launch Strategies for Mobile Game Companies to learn more about soft launching your game and how Fiksu can help.

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